Thursday, 20 March 2014

The two unknown Primarchs

Hi all 

Having only just attended the Black Library Live event and with the Horus Heresy weekender just round the corner, I was hoping to talk about what is probably the biggest unanswered question in the Horus Heresy.  That is of course about the two unknown Primarchs which are numbers 2 and 11.  I would first like to worn you that there maybe some spoilers, however, those of you who have read the Horus Heresy novels will know that any time where the two missing Primarchs are mentioned, it is normally just in one sentence, so the possible spoilers here are not exactly ground breaking.

So I would like to go through so parts where they are brought up in the novels and give my thoughts on what they could mean.  Please note that I am not fully up to date with the novels and there is a high chance that I have missed little hints here and there because as I said earlier, they are normally brushed over very quickly.

So firstly I wanted to talk about a few parts in the novel, The First Heretic as this is probably the earliest, chronological story.  At one point, Lorgar states he fears the "Emperor will break the Word Bearers - and break me. We would be cast alongside the brothers we no longer speak of."
This clearly shows that these two Primarchs where cast out at some point after they were discovered on there he wold , and before the events on Monarchia which was 43 years before Isstvan 5.
In this novel, it also mentions that around the time that the 2nd and 11th Legions were expunged from Imperial records, the Ultramarines Legion swelled in Astartes numbers to eclipse all other Legions. 
If this were true, it would suggest that the legionnaires of the 2nd and/or the 11th haven't committed any offence and that the "crime" lies with the primarch, and possibly a minority of the legion.
During the vision of the Gal Vorbak, the 11th Primarch is described as still being innocent and pure before the disaster that scattered the Primarchs. This also suggests that whatever the 11th Primarch done to make him cast was after he was discovered on the planner he was raised on.  One of the Gal Vorbak also says that killing the 11th Primarch in the past would, "save them a lot of trouble", which could be interpreted as saying the Word Bearers had some connection with "dealing" with the legion.

The next novel I would like to bring up is Prospero Burns. At a point leading up to the Wolves attack on Prospero, Leman Russ Was asked if he was concerned over the fact that Space Marines were fighting other Space Marines. To this, he commented that this was not the first time the Wolves had been called on to perform this task. This might be a reference to whatever happened to the 2nd and/or 11th Legion, especially as the wolves stated earlier one in the novel that Leman Russ was created to be the  Emperor's executioner. However, Leman Russ could be referring to other conflicts that he has had with other Legions

Last on my list is in The Outcast Dead.  During a conversation regarding what could happen as a result of Magnus using forbidden powers to contact the Emperor, he states that the "Wolves will be loosed again".  This not only further implies that the Space Wolves were involved in what happened to the 2nd and/or 11th, but it also shows that people out side of the space marines are aware of what happened with the two unknown Primarchs.

Now as I said previously, I'm sure that I have missed some other hints as to what happened the the unknown Primarchs, but feel free to comment below.  However, to summarise, we know that the incident with the two Primarchs happened at some point between them being found on the planets that they were raised on, and around 46 years prior to the Horus Heresy. We are also led to believe that the Space Wolves and the Word Bearers were somehow involved in whatever happened to them.  Anything other than that, unfortunately we are not able to confirm. We are not even able to confirm wether is was two separate incidents or just one incident involving both the Primarchs. I just really hope that Black Library do cover exactly what happened and not just dismiss it whenever it is brought up, but we can all hope :-)

Please comment below as I would love to read your thoughts and possible theory's that you have.


  1. I believe GW officially stated they didn't flesh out the stories for the 2nd and 11th legions because they were used as a device for players to create their own home brew chapters. I can't remember where I read/heard that, though.

    1. Yeah that is the truth of it no matter how much we want them back. If they were fleshed out by Writers which have since left the company then they cannot be re-released as they will conflict with that writers IP as what happened with one of the other chaos gods whom GW can not write about (this was mentioned by Laurie G in a seminar recently).
      I think we will hear about them again eventually, I'm sure Abnett and the McNeil will be given permission soon enough.

    2. That does ring a bell with me aswell. However I still would like to keep hoping that they do disclose what happened. Even though I love the fluff, one thing that does frustrate me a little is the amount of unanswered questions.

    3. Yeah the homebrew legion idea was spoken about at Games Day by Tony Cotterill in one of the seminars

  2. I find myself drawn to this mystery again and again. I can't help but devour every smidgen I can find in hopes of uncovering more! Thanks for this, my good man. I do want to comment on one part, though. When Argel Tal is commenting on one of the lost primarchs, he doesn't quite say that killing him would save some trouble. I think the paraphrased quote is ending his life would, " Lorgar so much pain." While it still leads readers to assume the Word Bearers had a hand in the conflict, it sounds very much like something Lorgar and the legion did very reluctantly. While Russ might cherish the opportunity to test his mettle against another legion, Logar would have done so at great anguish, as he loved his brothers second only to the Emperor himself.

    1. That is a very good point. However I don't believe that it states that Lorgar had a hand into what happened. Maybe he was just very close to that primarch and whatever happened to him, upset Lorgar

    2. That was my thinking too. He was hurt that his father could do it.

  3. Sadly, it will never get fleshed out. When asked about fleshing them, the authors said 'no, because then they wouldn't be missing,' I think the only way they will be fleshed out is if Black Library visit the Great Crusade. I asked if they would do the GC and they said 'if there is demand for it'. Petition starts here lol...


  4. I finally realized what happened to the lost legions!

    Back in the day, there were the 2nd and 11th Legions, but all records have since been lost.

    In fact, they were not lost, just misfiled!

    Back at the dawn of the Imperium, the Imperial Bureaucracy was still sorting things out, including consistent filing systems. Some departments used Arabic numerals, some Roman Numerals, and depending on the whim of whichever department head was in charge at the time, they sometimes even switched back and forth.

    Accordingly, the records for the Second legion sometimes showed as 2, sometimes as II. When it was II, those departments using Arabic numerals filed them under 11. Soon the records for the two legions were hopelessly intermingled. Orders meant for one were sent to the other half the time, leading to them spending most of their time criss-crossing the galaxy. Supplies meant for the Eleventh Legion usually ended up with the Second, leaving the Eleventh without the means to continue, hence the Imperial term "Chapter Eleven" for a group that can no longer sustain itself. When the orders to accordingly disband the impoverished Eleventh came through, it was also sent to the II legion.

    By the time the mistake was realized, it was too late. Rather than face up to the errors, correct things and wade through centuries of red tape, the Imperial Bureaucracy just swept everything under the rug, made a PowerPoint presentation about all the money they were able to save (from no longer paying for two legions, though that was not mentioned) and promptly found new things to spend the money on.

    Now you know!

    My favourite conspiracy theory I have read on the web :)

  5. I like to think that II & XI realised their dad was an overhanded space stalin, rather than turned to kaos and everything, and have jumped off to the far reaches of space, fighting orks, necrons, etc and teaming up with eldar, rather then getting caught up with Machiavellian galaxy take over plans.

    I imagine one of them (I think II) having a turquoise and white paint scheme with the fleur de lys for a badge, the other, a little hazy, but metallic like IW...

    1. this is my favourite other Primarch work. He looks like he would fit in well to the IP.

    2. Interesting... though he looks a lot like the khan?