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Ktotwf
12-08-2007, 05:48
Do you guys think that the idea that the Space Marines think of the Emperor not as a God but as a kind of superhuman man is dead in the fluff? More and more it seems like the Space Marines, descended from him though they may be, simply worship him like everyone else.

GR_Zombie
12-08-2007, 06:02
I'm pretty sure it varies from chapter to chapter. It seems that the First Founding chapters still regard him as the greatest human to ever live, but a human nonetheless. At the very least, the Space Wolves and the Ultramarines still hold this view.

Arcanus
12-08-2007, 06:16
The Loyalist Legions hold him in the highest regard some of the newer chapters hold this view but, most see him as the Emperor and a great man but nothing more. The Chaos Space Marines see him as a man and nothing more.

GR_Zombie
12-08-2007, 06:40
Actually I think they see him as a rotting corpse;)

Arcanus
12-08-2007, 07:55
Actually I think they see him as a rotting corpse;)

Well he's not dead so he's not rotting. THE EMPEROR LIVES!

Ktotwf
12-08-2007, 07:58
Everyone calls the Emperor the "weakling seer" "corpse god" or the "gargoyle god", except for those loyal to the Imperium.

Iuris
12-08-2007, 08:11
The few images GW has released that may portray the emperor all show him as quite... rotting.

Arcanus
12-08-2007, 08:17
Well I wouldn't say rotting because of the connotations of rotting. I would rather say that he is decrepit.

Ktotwf
12-08-2007, 08:40
The few images GW has released that may portray the emperor all show him as quite... rotting.

Really? Are there any online? I'd like to see them.

FarseerMatt
12-08-2007, 09:06
The only one I can think of is the one from the intro of the 3rd Ed rulebook.

Unless you mean ones where he's "alive" in which case there's also the one of him facing off against Horus (4th Ed rulebook, also a free poster with WD :D)

http://library.galciv2.com/mvlib/ss/Fullview_emperor-horus.jpg

DantesInferno
13-08-2007, 05:14
Do you guys think that the idea that the Space Marines think of the Emperor not as a God but as a kind of superhuman man is dead in the fluff? More and more it seems like the Space Marines, descended from him though they may be, simply worship him like everyone else.

Would you mind backing this up with some sources?

Khorne Cob
13-08-2007, 05:27
I belive that current Imperial dogma says that the Emperor is a god. Peroid. However, some of the first founding Space Marine chapters get away with their "fringe" views because they are so old. Newer chapters..... they get examined by the Inquistion at best or excommunicated at worse.

whoo-who! first real post!

Arcanus
13-08-2007, 05:56
I belive that current Imperial dogma says that the Emperor is a god. Peroid. However, some of the first founding Space Marine chapters get away with their "fringe" views because they are so old. Newer chapters..... they get examined by the Inquistion at best or excommunicated at worse.

whoo-who! first real post!

Congratulations on the first real post, there were now chapters in the first founding there were only legions. Also, it is rumored that the primarchs were created from the Emperors DNA so I doubt that the loyalist ones wouldn't respect him as a God. Also, just because the Inquisitions is around doesn't mean they catch everthing. So there can be newer chapter's that don't see the Emperor as God. I think that it's more probable for a newer chapter to see the Emperor as God than an loyalist founding legion.

Nikkolas
20-08-2007, 11:12
What do the Black Templars think of him?

Aren't they the most zealous SMs?

Ktotwf
20-08-2007, 12:00
What do the Black Templars think of him?

Aren't they the most zealous SMs?


Its a very strange and complicated thing. I tend to feel like as time goes by, the Space Marines who live 10,000 years after the Emperor's "ascension" have become absorbed into the Cult Imperialis.

The Black Templars are a good example - their every name and action denotes religious worship.

DantesInferno
20-08-2007, 12:42
It's not really that complicated: the 4th edition rulebook tells us what the position of Space Marine Chapters is on p96:


The Space Marines do not consider [the Emperor] as a god in the same sense as that preached by the Ecclesiarchy, and instead worship the Emperor as a great, gifted man.

MvS
20-08-2007, 12:57
Yes but the zeal and faith that the Black Templars have seems to be at odds with the idea that all Marine chapters regard the Emperor as just a great and gifted man. Can you really be a 'heretic' for not accepting the laws set down by a great and gifted man? And why have faith in him?

I think that it is likely that most first-founding Chapters still maintain large elements of the pre-heresy ideas about the Emperor (which, judging by the HH books, is still one of profound awe and respect that borders on adoration, but not quite). I would imagine that ost heresy most chapters would have had these borders pushed a bit further back. It has been 10,000 years after all.

I mean even for the Codex to say "worship the Emperor as a great and gifted man" is an odd choice of words. Why worship a gifted man? Respect, yes. View as an aspirational figure, certainly. Seek to emulate, of course. Worship? Odd choice of words in that context I feel, unless they mean hero-worship, which seems a bit too infantile for Marines, at least the way I see them.

Iracundus
20-08-2007, 13:07
It's religious dogma nitpicking. The Ecclesiarchy worships, prays to, and seeks the blessing of their god, the Emperor. The Space Marines worship, pray to, and seek the blessing of "the greatest man ever", the Emperor. It's similar to how the medieval Church could have arguments over details such as whether Jesus was wholly man or wholly divine, or changed from man to divine and if so at what point in time. Regardless of this hairsplitting of definition, it didn't stop the Church from doing what falls under the classification of worship and religious practice. Similarly, the Space Marines practice religious worship in every aspect except outright calling the Emperor a god. A rose by any other name is still a rose.

Ktotwf
20-08-2007, 13:09
I would tend towards the idea that the more grounded the Space Marines are in the Pre-Heresy times (say Ultramarines or Space Wolves) the more they view him as a man. Then again, the Space Wolves often call the Emperor the "All Father" in much the same way as Vikings referred to Odin.

More recently founded chapters probably skew more towards the "The Emperor is a God" viewpoint, because their exposure as humans would be to the all pervasive Cult Imperialis, and being Second or Third Founding (or what have you) Space Marine Chapters, they would have less leaders grounded in the old traditions to say "The Emperor was not a God, he was simply the greatest human who ever lived."

The Black Templar are still an anomaly - they are probably the single most powerful religiously motivated force in the WH40k universe, and the entire reason they are on their crusade (a religious term) is because of the Imperial Fists' failure to protect the Emperor during the endgame of the Heresy.

Edit: But Iracundus is also correct, IMHO.

MvS
20-08-2007, 13:49
Well yes, I also agree with Iracundus. My critique though is in the choice of wording in the Codex. I would unpack it in a similar way to Iracundus, but I don't necessarily think that is the way it was wholly intended . I just think the imagery is sometimes a little... what? Non-cohesive around the edges?

As an example, yes indeed there were debates about the nature of the divinity and humanity of Jesus in the Medieval Church, but there was no doubt that he was divine at the point when the Medieval Church was worshipping him - it was more a debate about the nature of the Trinity and how Jesus could be wholly man and wholly divine at the same time, because this had relevance to the nature and meaning of his suffering just prior to and during the Crucifixion.

The Emperor on the other hand was not considered part of a divine 'greater whole' before death, at least not by most Marines. He was amazing, but worshipping was both considered pointless and was forbidden anyway. You don't worship a man. What purpose does it serve? Might as well pray to a wall.

There is a reference in one of the early HH books (I forget which one) that there was some debate about whether the Emperor would become fully divine if he died, but that the question was a moot one because the Emperor was understood to be completely immortal, so any divine transfiguration was out of the question.

I guess there is a fine line between, a) complete obedience and submission to all the decrees and lessons of the Emperor and having complete and utter faith that everything he does and says is completely right and just, and b) worshipping him.

But anyway, I think even the most secular Marines now are more worshipful and have more elements of god-worship in their practices than ever they had 10,000 years ago before the Heresy. They might still employ philosophical and theological gymnastics within their dogmas to justify their worshipful traditions and practices, but they are still there it seems.

Ktotwf
20-08-2007, 14:01
There is also the fact to consider that the early Space Marines had to have had a certain brother-at-arms type relationship with the Emperor, as they were his Space Marines, and he seems to have led them in battle often.

The pre-Heresy Space Marines would have viewed him like a wise grandfather who was often around, and while his authority was total, he was still a Warrior Leader who was with them nearly as often as their own Primarch. There was no need for worship, because he was usually THERE if you wished to speak with him or interact in some way. The resentment of him leaving them when he did was part of the spark of the Heresy.

This wouldn't have been the case for Joe Blow average human soldier, who, at best, would have seen the Emperor once from afar, and he would have seemed to be a gigantic glowing puissant lord of the highest kind.

Modern Space Marines never get a chance to fight alongside the Emperor or speak to him, so their ideological cement probably needs that extra little budge of "Hey, he is a God."

I would really be extremely interested in knowing what the Custodes viewpoint on the Divinity of the Emperor is, considering that they know him even better than a Space Marine, and he is their Father in the same way that Leman Russ was the father of the Space Wolves.

The Warmaster
20-08-2007, 23:21
I personally think a lot of material on the subject of the Marines' worship is contradictory. For example, in Soul Drinker, Sarpedon uses the term "God-Emperor" when talking to an Inquisitorial interrogator (although this could simply be due to the fact that he was conversing with an Inquisitorial representative), but then states that the Soul Drinkers worship no gods when talking to a Dark Eldar Archon in "Bleeding Chalice". As for the Black Templars, I've seen several instances in which they refer to him as a god (although, since I'm at school now, I don't have my collection of GW material with me, so I can't make any references). Personally, I'm inclined to think that such beliefs vary from Chapter to Chapter. In fact, my own Chapter are the biggest bunch of atheists to have walked in the Imperium of Man since the Great Crusade, although that does not fall under the "canon" category by any means.

- N.

Gorthor21
21-08-2007, 03:25
i still think its funny that they worship the emporer altogether considering how much the emporer was opposed to religion

Nikkolas
14-09-2007, 04:22
Well, I was just watching a scene from Dark Crusade. "Rain down the Emperor's holy fury" and "the Emperor is with us" were both said by whoever was talking.

Sounds like worship to me.

Ktotwf
14-09-2007, 04:26
It basically is. It seems GW is pulling a "Say one thing and do the other" trick here.

DantesInferno
14-09-2007, 05:21
It basically is. It seems GW is pulling a "Say one thing and do the other" trick here.

No need to be too hasty in blaming GW for it: it seems far more likely to me that the Space Marines themselves haven't quite got a coherent set of beliefs about the Emperor's status - they're warriors, not philosophers (at least, most of them...). Or alternatively that religious practices vary between Chapters.

Reminds me a bit of a thread we had a while ago, asking whether GW had realised that the Black Templars hated all psykers with a vengeance, and yet used Astropaths to communicate, Navigators to err... navigate, and in fact worshipped the Emperor, a rather prominent psyker. The answer for me is that GW did realise, and the irony was intentional. Religious fanatics having contradictory, and yet burning, beliefs? Never!

Ktotwf
14-09-2007, 05:24
I dunno that the Emperor would have been considered a Psyker by his followers, maybe just "godlike". Or, possibly, he gets a free pass because he is the Emperor and he can do whatever the hell he wants. I mean, Hitler was always preaching about blonde haired blue eyed Aryans, and he was the exact opposite.

Wazzahamma
14-09-2007, 09:38
I see it as a form of 'ancestor worship'.