The Account of a Lifetime

August 9, 2009

On Dorn & Perturabo

Filed under: Cogitations,Visions of the future — xisor @ 3:18 am

I originally wrote this on the Black Library forums, but it bears repeating here. I’m a big fan of the possibilities open to ‘work’ with Dorn and Perturabo in the HH series. Alaric, another poster, suggested the Iron Cage incident as a prime example of true hatred between two primarchs as the possible plot of ‘Nemesis’, personally I thought it’d likely be either Garro, the Sisters or the Blood Angels as protaganists. Also, the IC incident is post-Heresy.

Furthermore, there’s tons to say on Dorn and Perturabo. Without going into too much detail or spoiling stories, I will simply repost my original response:

With regards to Dorn’s hatred, in The Lightning Tower he compares their relationship to the petty squabbling of brothers who’re too similar for their own good; not unbridled hatred. The animosity of Angron and the Emperor, Russ and Magnus or Dorn and Night Haunter might be better ‘ragey’ points within the Primarchs.

Personally, I very much like the idea that, as characters, Dorn is ‘undone’ by the Heresy whilst Perturabo is ‘saved’ by it. Lemme explain…

Dorn starts out as tremendous. A fantastic warrior. Liked, capable and very competent. His only ‘major flaw’ is the silly squabbling with Perturabo, and a slight blindness to the warnings about the Heresy; i.e. he thinks too highly of everyone to imagine anything bad would actually happen. But then he meets Garro. And then Mars happens. Then Isstvan. Then seven long years of war as Horus plunges the galaxy into Chaos. Then the Seige. Then <the culmination>. Then Guilliman takes over as Dorn is simply…broken. Then he goes off the deepend with the Iron Cage. Then he’s one of the last primarchs to go, waiting and watching as he becomes more and more obsolete, watching his brothers fade whilst the traitors walk free. He’s a twisted parody of what he begins as, mainly because of the sheer mental/intellectual/emotional trauma of everything which happens.

But Perturabo? He starts out as noble. Is royally buggered throughout the crusade. Perhaps not victimised, but he continually draws the short straw and the crap end of the poo stick. His legion is divided. His homeworld rebels. He has to destory his own home. The Heresy, when it comes, is an opportunity. A point in which he can prove and demonstrate himself. I’d like to speculate that whilst most Primarchs are ‘undone’ by the Heresy, Perturabo truly attains apotheosis with it; he doesn’t become ‘good’, but he becomes fully true to himself.

I do concur though, if the authors tackle Perturabo and Dorn properly, they could make them awesome books. Not just a sucker and a winner, but compelling characters who are both aggrieved and attain their grim salvation. Then mix that in with some awesome military fiction and top-knotch scifi then you’ve got at least a few awesome books.

IMO, Dorn’s the key ‘protaganist’ in the Heresy. He’s got the most complete range of things to be gradually stripped away from him. You want grimdark? Focus on Dorn.

As you can see, it’s something which is quite dear to me. There’s excellent opportunity, I’m hopeful the authors will prevail!


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