Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Could Fulgrim Be Redeemed?

N.B.: If you have not read the Horus Heresy book, "Fulgrim", then you might want to stop reading this post now. Spoilers follow. You have been warned.
Still reading? Okay. Here's the idea that occurred to me a while ago that I wanted to share with you - although I suspect it is not an entirely new idea and has probably been discussed before elsewhere: Does the possibility exist for Fulgrim to be redeemed?

Shortly after reading "Fulgrim", I was surprised that the primarch was effectively possessed, rather than willingly being a servant of chaos and transmuting in to a daemon prince like many of his other traitor brothers. Horus certainly wasn't best pleased that his friend, Fulgrim, had been possessed, but let it pass as the daemon was loyal to the heresy and he had other more pressing matters to concern himself with. Yet, he also vowed to remove the daemon from Fulgrim, eventually.

It is also stated that Fulgrim recognized the horrors that he had committed in the moments after Ferrus Manus' death at his own hands. Cleared of the mind-clouding caused by the daemon, Fulgrim was ready to end his own life as payment for his crimes. He clearly recognized what he had done. Indeed, later the daemon tells Horus that Fulgrim would not have followed him had it not been for the daemon's subtle persuasions - was the Warmaster that good an orator after all?, questions the daemon at one point.

In the end, the daemon takes hold of Fulgrim's flesh, but keeps Fulgrim's mind and soul locked away in a tiny dark corner. His shrieks, pleas and railing thoughts are described as most exquisite music to the daemon's ears. This pleases the daemon and thus he doesn't let Fulgrim die fully - rather Fulgrim is a mute and powerless observer to all subsequent events. Hence, the true Fulgrim is not only still alive, but actively wanting to work against the daemon.

Could Fulgrim ever dispose of the occupying daemon one day? If so, he would be akin to the Illuminati - that secret society of old 40k lore that has been able to shrug off the chaos within. Moreover, he would then have much work to do to undo his past transgressions and become fully redeemed - perhaps making him a major mover and shaker in the 40k Universe's future. Equally, he may be just as likely to be a mental wreck after all those years locked away, despite being a primarch. Moreover, getting rid of the occupying daemon may be near-impossible (he'd probably have done so already if he was able from within!).


sovietspace said...

A very interesting concept there Jabber.

I must admit that I found myself feeling more and more sorry for Fulgrim as the book progressed (which is good because I quite like EC). BUT I could never quite forgive him for his basic quality traits - i.e. vanity and the rest. I think these flaws are amongst the most easily played on, as shown by his downfall.

In the end I don't think he has the mental strength to withstand 10,000 years of taunting by a Deamon and is probably a gibbering wreck by now. I'm not saying I would perform any better, but I would have held out higher hopes if it was someone like Dorn or the Lion stuck in the recesses of their own mind.

I wonder if GW will ever let us find out the answer?

jabberjabber said...

I've got to agree with you Sovietspace: Fulgrim was always vain in the first place. Fulgrim and his legion were almost set up for a big fall from grace since inception.

His legion certainly hasn't learnt, so perhaps he wouldn't either.

suneokun said...

I like the idea of Fulgrim being saved. While its clear that he is an proud and vain man - this is not without merit. Fulgrim also shows a humility in his dealing with his human observers and a common touch that seems fairly uncommon in the Primarch's who are largely untouchable aloof demigods.

It is an excellent bit of pulp fcition as you find yourself liking Fulgrim, of all the 'fallen', he is the most naive. He is pulled in by his love of Horus and the whispering corruptions of a Deamon.

You'll note that the sword that corrupts him is the same one taken by the word bearer librarian from the advanced Xenos that Horus looks to make peace with.

I'd like to think Fulgrim could be saved, I think he would become an ecclesiarchial cleric on a crusade against the emporers children.

Was it Tarvitz of the Emporers Children? Or another? Either way, he's escapes on the Eisenhorn and becomes forms the first Grey Knights - maybe a campaign to 'save' Fulgrim?

Tdubs036 said...

If i remember you could field Fulgrim in 2nd ed Epic - he was a massively disfigured part snake demon prince.

I am not sure if he would be welcomed back by the Imperium but It would be interesting to see what would happen if he broke free of the demons hold - maybe fighting alongside other renegades against Chaos like a 40k version of the A-team.

Magnus said...

Tdubs036 is right. I still have the model. Fulgrim has physically been transformed into a full-on Daemon Prince. Even if he could psychologically break free of his inprisonment, he's got no chance of being accepted back into the imperium.

jabberjabber said...

Hi Guys - thanks for your further thoughts! Yes - Fulgrim is very obviously mutated now - moreso than even Sanguinius ever was.

mcross said...

wait Tarvitz started the grey knights!?!?!?!?!?!

jabberjabber said...

Hi Mcross -- have a read of "Flight of the Eisenstein" for more on the potential origin of the inquisition.

Andrew The Eternal said...

If I recall correctly, Fulgrim and the Demon were fused mentally when they/it ascended to a Demon Prince.

I always thought Magnus was a likely candidate for redemption, but that is neither here nor there.

jabberjabber said...

Magnus as a candidate for redemption is an interesting idea. And not entirely impossible if Tzeentch's machinations permit... certainly "A Thousand Sons" casts a new light on Magnus and his chapter.

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