Hi everybody ! It’s Black Blow Fly again to discuss Warhammer 40k background and reveal some urban legends (i.e., retcons and misinformation) about it.
There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet intended to mislead you. I have been in this hobby for several decades – yes the canon does change from time to time but there are still some constants. One thing I think is important to note is it’s not possible to read everything anymore because The Black Library really churns it out now at a truly incredible rate. I remember when it was possible to read all the 40k novels and short stories though, that’s for sure. Everybody has things they like and dislike… just remember it’s not real and not worth hating (caveat for the most part) over.
The Ever Changing Fluff
Did you know that once upon a time Leman Russ was actually an Imperial Guard tank commander, which is why the ever ubiquitous tank was actually named after him. Another example is that Dark Eldar and Eldar were once mortal enemies… the former race were the original Eldar and only a few survived the creation of the Eye of Terror which was a massive Warp rift, where the Warp came to co-exist with real space, and was due to birth of the fourth Chaos God, which in turn was brought about by the licentious behavior of the Eldar. Craftworld Eldar were rebels that had foresight and left well ahead of time. The other survivors (i.e., Dark Eldar) were participating in either deep space raids or the equivalent of luxury cruises. Black Templar background was recently changed so that they now worship the Emperor as a divine being – LOL !!!
Welcome to the RETCon
A stark change in canon is often referred to as a retcon which is a piece of new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events, typically used to facilitate a dramatic plot shift or account for an inconsistency. They can be annoying for sure. I truly believe some people change canon simply because they can at the time – just look at all the highly charged fluff changes in some of the 5th and 6th edition codexes (looking at you Draigo).
Retcons are official but as I said above too there’s lots and lots of misinformation which I typically find to be truly hateful in nature for whatever reason – certain fluffy bunnies can be so annoying at times, especially when they get really carried away. I often see some of them stating for instance that the Emperor is truly evil… for example they say he always intended for the Primarchs to kill each other. Surely the Emperor is not completely benign but I would not put him in the same class as the Chaos Gods whom have no redeeming values whatsoever. That said it’s too bad about the Thunder Warriors for sure though.
I tend to ignore these types of dishonest fluffy bunnies except when poking holes in their utter nonsense and exposing them for what they really are. An excellent resource in my opinion is The Lexicanum which can provide vast sources for information on pretty much all of the background. It’s a good place to go and waste some time if you’re bored. So if you read something or hear something that doesn’t seem to add up then spend some time and do some research… you’ll be glad you did.
I love the fluff – all of it, especially the lies.
Be Chill – Enjoy the Fluff – Don’t Hate
In conclusion I’ll say say in closing that it’s most fun to enjoy the hobby for positive things in which you can become immersed – that’s one of the things I truly love about our hobby too… it’s much more than just a game of dice, plastic soldier and tape measures. Most people who play are drawn into the hobby by the background and if you stop just a moment to think about it’s really kind of amazing.
~Can you think of any retcons that left you in the lurch or examples misleading false information – if so what were they ?