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The Great Crusade > Pre-Heresy Background Q&A > Primarchs relationships


Title: Primarchs relationships
Description: who liked who


wolfie - July 8, 2011 06:36 PM (GMT)
Since i first started getting into the 40k fluff, ive always wondered, before the heresy began, which of the primarchs actually liked eachother. I know there were some who were very close and some who pretty much didnt talk to or think much of some of the others.

Its somethign ive found very interesting when reading up on the primarchs, however i only know a few of who got along with who so if anyone could help me out by listing who liked eachother i would really appreciate it. thanks

Michaelangelos - July 9, 2011 12:30 AM (GMT)
Well I know that mortarian did not like Magnus when he was doing magic, I think that was just before the Horus heresy. And I think sanguines was friends with Horus and I heard(don't know if it's true) but I think fulgrim used to be buddies with ferris manus. I think if A primarch had no friends then I think kurze had no friends tbh.

Gagoc TheAncient - July 9, 2011 06:50 PM (GMT)
I believe Magnus got on well with both Sanguinius and Jaghatai Khan. So it is probable that the Khan and Sanguinius got on as well.

Kurze was mentored by Fulgrim, to the extent that Kurze confided in him.

Fulgrim in turn was mentored by Horus.

Fulgrim and Ferrus Manus had a friendship born out of a friendly rivalry.

Ferrus was friendly with Vulkan, he even built a special weapon for him which he turned down without any hurt feelings resulting.

And that's all I can say for the moment.

konstantinos - July 10, 2011 05:15 PM (GMT)
I think Mortarion and Qurze got on pretty well(since they were being treated a little bit like outcasts due to their appearances...

malika - July 10, 2011 08:26 PM (GMT)
Lorgar and Magnus were close. Horus was close with Sanguinius and Dorn.

The Red Sorcerer - July 11, 2011 10:53 AM (GMT)
Both Russ and Mortarion disliked Magnus - both spoke out against Magnus' sorcerous activities. Russ also seems to have disliked Lorgar. Indeed, Lorgar seems to have been unpopular with many of the other primarchs - The First Heretic mentions he had strained relations with Ferrus, Fulgrim and Kurze as well. However, its noted he and Magnus were close, both sharing a more academic outlook compared to many of the other primarchs. Lorgar's hatred of Guilliman is perhaps his most noteworthy primarch relationship - not only was it Guiliman's legion who were responsible for the destruction of 'the perfect city' on Monarchia, but Guilliman himself witnessed his chastisement by the Emperor, and the fact Guilliman's legion was among the most praised while the Word Bearers were chastised also rankled with Lorgar.

Guilliman and Alpharius disliked each other, with Guilliman's insistance that his way of war was far superior driving Alpharius on to try ever more divergent tactics.

Dorn and Kurze actually came to blows at one point - Dorn thought Kurze's repressive tactics were completely at odds with the way the Crusade should be managed. Dorn alos had his famous rivalry with Peturabo, and its mentioned after one particular argument the pair never spoke again. Otherwise Dorn seems to have got along with most of the Primarchs, with the Index Astartes suggesting that he was held in particular honour by Khan and Guilliman, and the novels displaying his closeness to Horus.

Kurze had strained relationships with most of the Primarchs, but is noted as being close to Mortarion, as well as being tutored by - and confiding in - Fulgrim. However, Fulgrim betrayed his trust by telling Dorn about what he had been told in confidence, so its likely their close relationship ended at this point.

El'Johnson seems not to be close to any of the other Primarchs - in particular clashing with Russ, with the pair coming to blows on occasion. The DA novels emphasise his growing up in the wilds, his aloof nature, and the fact that until his discovery by the crusade he never met anyone who came close to his intellectual and physical gifts as being the primary reqasons he found personal relationships difficult. Angron is also noteworthy as one who didn't seem particularly close to ayone, with the other primarchs viewing him as a violent thug.

Horus seems to have been one of the more popular primarchs - as has been mentioned, Horus was particularly close with Dorn and Sanguinius, and also close to Fulgrim. The Alpha Legion Index Astartes also shows he was close with Alpharius, serving as his tutor when they were first discovered, and the Death Guard IA also notes Mortarion and Horus were close as well. However, Horus didn't get along with evryone - its mentioned he had strained relations with the Lion after becoming Warmaster, and Corax withdrew his Legion from Horus' command after the two nearly came to blows. Sanguinius seems to have been one of the most popular primarchs, held in almost universally high regard.

Thats all I can think of at the moment.

Markus Krell - July 11, 2011 11:47 AM (GMT)
I think Leman Russ became closer to Lion El'Johnson after their fight. I'm sure that in the old writings, Russ left his legion to search for El'Johnson when he disappeared after the fall of Caliban.

Most appeared to be nervous around Angron rather than disliked him, due to his tics and temper.


The Red Sorcerer - July 11, 2011 12:16 PM (GMT)
In the older background Russ and the Lion didn't become truly close until after the Emperor's incarceration in the Golden Throne - Johnson came up to Russ during the aftermath of the siege on Terra and demanded to fight him, but Russ was to grief-striken and let the Lion strike him - Johnson aparently stabbed him in one of his hearts but stopped himself from piercing the other at the last second, realising his folly. Once Russ recovered they abandoned their feud.

There's a snippet in A Thousand Sons that suggests they may have abandoned the feud earlier, though - Lorgar mentions their first fight on Dulan and states that Lion and Russ are now brothers in arms. No mention of the Lion in Prospero Burns, frustratingly, so we have no real insight from the novels about Russ' feelings on the matter.

wolfie - July 13, 2011 04:08 PM (GMT)
well being a Iron Warriors fan and player i would like to knoe a good bit more about Peturabo. However it seems he was pretty much a sort of outcast, not really close to anyone else.

But what about the likes of Angron etc?

The Red Sorcerer - July 13, 2011 05:35 PM (GMT)
I decided this was kindof an interesting topic all round, so decided to do a bit of digging. So, may I present -

All The Info You Need For The Primarch Seating Plan At Official Banquets :D

Lion El’Johnson – Clashed with Russ. Strained relationship with Horus after he is appointed Warmaster. Noted as finding it hard to become close with any of his brothers.

Fulgrim – Close relationship with Horus. Had notable friendship with Ferrus Manus. Seems also to have been close to Magnus and Sanguinius. Looked down upon Lorgar due to his censure by the Emperor.

Peturabo – Is noted he found it hard to relate to his brothers. In particular, clashed with Dorn, with the two rarely speaking after one particularly bitter argument.

Jaghatai Khan – Is noted as having great regard for Dorn.

Leman Russ – Clashed with both Magnus and the Lion, condemning Magnus’ sorcerous research and coming to blows with the Lion following a disagreement over the conduct of a battle on Dulan.

Rogal Dorn – Seems to have been close with Horus, Jaghatai Khan and Roboute Guilliman. Fought with Konrad Kurze, and had a bitter rivalry with Peturabo.

Konrad Kurze – Attacked Dorn following an argument regarding his prophetic visions. Was originally close to Fulgrim, but this probably did not last after Fulgrim betrayed his confidences to Dorn. Seems to have despised Lorgar. Close relationship with Mortarion.

Sanguinius – seems to have been widely held in high regard. Particularly noted as being close to Horus, and seems to be close to Magnus and Fulgrim as well.

Ferrus Manus – Was good friends with Fulgrim, and had great respect for Horus. Also had close relationship with Vulkan. Despised Lorgar.

Angron – His aggressive personality seems to have isolated him from most of the Primarchs.

Roboute Guilliman – Is noted as despising Alpharius. Strained relationship with Horus after he is made Warmaster. Looked down upon Lorgar. Had high regard for Dorn.

Mortarion – Close relationships with Horus and Kurze. Particular hatred of Magnus due to his sorcerous research and his own anti-psyker prejudices due to his upbringing.

Magnus – Close relationship with Lorgar. Seems also to have got along well with Fulgrim and Sanguinius. Strained relationship with Russ (who he saw as a barbarian) and Mortarion.

Horus – Largely held in high regard by his brothers, sharing particular friendships with Dorn, Sanguinius, and Fulgrim. Was also close to Mortarion, Lorgar, Alpharius and Vulkan. However, clashed with Corax, and is noted as having strained relationships with the Lion and Guilliman following his appointment as Warmaster.

Lorgar – Although he is noted as being friends with Magnus and Horus, otherwise seems to have been largely disliked by his brothers. Has a particular hatred for Guilliman, particularly after events on Monarchia, and seems to be despised by Ferrus Manus, Fulgrim, and Kurze.

Vulkan – Close relationship with Ferrus Manus and Horus.

Corax – Clashed with Horus and removed his Legion from the Warmaster’s direct command as a result.

Alpharius – Clashed repeatedly with Guilliman. Was close to Horus.


So there you go! Can of course be updated when novels reveal more about Primarchs we haven't seen much of yet.


@wolfie: Yup, information so far suggests Peturabo wan't close with any of his brothers. Later novels (hopefully) covering the IW in more detail may reveal more.

Tatters - July 13, 2011 06:50 PM (GMT)
Dont know about 'closeness,' but I think there must have been a certain level of respect between the Lion and Perturbo, as the former gave him the Ordinatus to 'put to good use'

Ogun - July 15, 2011 08:41 AM (GMT)
It mentions in Savage Weapons that The Lion had considered Kurze his 'truest brother' because they had both grown up alone. (p.392.) I wouldn't think that would mean they were friends precisely though, rather they could relate to each other more.

Also, if memory serves, in the IA article on the Night Lords it says Kurze had been mentored by Fulgrim after his discovery and went to him concerning the visions of the future he was having. If that is still canon then it suggests Kurze had a greater bond of trust with him than the other Primarchs (presumably up until the whole Professor Kurze in the Study with the lead piping and a badly injured Rogal Dorn episode).

wolfie - July 15, 2011 03:39 PM (GMT)
@The Red Sorcerer - Thanks for drawing that up for me, helped quite abit with what i was asking. Hopefully more Horus Heresy books fill in any blanks or remaining questions

Ilmarinen - July 18, 2011 07:28 AM (GMT)
A few that have been missed so far:

Corax and the Raven Guard despise the Iron Warriors - mentioned in Raven's Flight.

The Khan and Russ were good friends - mentioned in Collected Visions when Dorn orders the Khan to leave Russ to fight the Alpha Legion alone and return to Terra.

The Khan is also seen talking to Sanguinius at Ullanor.

I don't think Lorgar and Magnus were -that- close. The First Heretic mentions that Lorgar asked Magnus about the Warp - after he refused to answer, it mentions that they wouldn't speak again until after the Heresy started (when everything had changed).

malika - May 10, 2012 08:51 PM (GMT)
Lion El'Johnson was generally a paranoid fellow who distrusted most around him. According to The Lion there was a mutual dislike between him and Mortarion when the two first met.

Apologist - May 11, 2012 09:17 AM (GMT)
There are some fantastic passages in Know No Fear that neatly encapsulate Guilliman's relationships with his brothers and also offer some hints to their interrelationships. I've emboldened specific bits about Primarch relationships, but have included fairly extended quotes as they're relevant to the discussion.

QUOTE (Dan Abnett @ Know No Fear*)
[Horus'] selection as Warmaster makes reasonable sense. It was only going to be one of three or perhaps four[...] To be the Emperor's avatar, his proxy? Only Horus, Guilliman, Sanguinius, perhaps Dorn. Any other claims for viability were delusional. Even narrowed down to four, Dorn was too draconian and Sanguinius too ethereal. It was only ever going to be Horus or Guilliman. Horus always had the passion and the charisma. Guilliman was more clinical, considered.[...]
Guilliman had already evolved beyond the status of a warlord, where Horus was still a killer of worlds and a subjugator of adversaries.
Maybe Warmaster Horus is aware of this disparity, that even in his triumphant election, he has been outstripped by a brother who does not even want for the honour of Warmaster any more. Perhaps that is why Horus needs to exercise his authority and gives orders to the XIII[...]
Or perhaps the new Warmaster is more creative than that, and sees this as a chance for Lorgar's rabble to borrow a little gloss from Guilliman's glory by association and example


A fairly one-sided rivalry, in the end? Horus and Guilliman are still listed as friends, so this is a friendly rivalry at best. The two do not compete directly – or so it appears to Sergeant Thiel, at least.

QUOTE (Dan Abnett @ Know No Fear**)
He is a high achiever. He knows this about himself. Some times it feels like a fault that he has to excuse to his brothers, but then he feels guilty for making excuses. Few of them really trust him, because, he feels, they always wonder what he's going to get from any compact or cooperation. Fewer still like him: as friends, he counts only Dorn, Ferrus, Sanguinius and Horus.

[...] Angron, Russ, Ferrus, Perturabo... They are just weapons, and have no ambition beyond being weapons. They know their place, like Russ, and are content to keep to it, or they have no idea that any other role might be possible or desirable, like Angron.


Not on relationships directly, but the passage is implied to be Guilliman's own point-of-view. Abnett has been at pains to make Guilliman seem grounded and not arrogant, so I think we can take this as a fairly honest assessment – and its worth noting that this implies Guilliman relates to his brothers best on a professional, rather than a personal level.

QUOTE (Dan Abnett @ Know No Fear***)
'Corax and Vulkan I will mourn dearly. Manus I will miss most of all.'
Gage knows what his Primarch means. In all tactical situations , Guilliman shows particular favour for certain of his brothers. He refers to them as the dauntless few, the ones he can most truly depend upon to do what they were made to do. Dorn and his Legion are one. Ill-tempered, argumentative Russ is another. Sanguinius is a third. Guilliman admires the Khan greatly, but the White Scars are neither predictable nor trustworthy. Ferrus Manus and the Iron Hands were always the fourth of the dauntless few.[...] And of them, Manus was the key. Implacable. Unshakeable. If he was at your side, he would never break.


Perhaps telling that of his friends, Horus is the only one Guilliman does not consider one of the 'dauntless few'; instead naming Russ.

*ebook, passage beginning p39 of 1095
**ebook, passage beginning p77 of 1095
***ebook, passage beginning p935 of 1095




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